John Clevenger or sometimes spelled Cleavenger was a true pioneer. He was born on his father's farm on Simpson Creek, Harrison County, Virginia, now West Virginia. His father William Cleavenger married Mary Ann Knight daughter of Bailey Knight. She died in 1822 and William then married Nancy Shields who was the niece of Daniel Kinchelo. They married on April 1, 1823 in Harrison County, WV.
Some time before 1828, together with a group of pioneers, the Cleavengers moved west and settle in Wayne County, IL. Enroute, they delivered a baby girl that they named Nancy Jane Clevenger in Ohio. Not all of William Cleavenger's children moved west. Bailey Clevenger and the two oldest daughters of William and Mary Ann Knight Cleavenger stayed in West Virginia.
John Cleavenger married Elizabeth Hall abt. 1835 in Wayne County, IL. She was a neighbor and is believed to be related to Jane Hall who owned the farm next to William Cleavenger. In 1852, John patented a stretch of land located in Section 22, twp 2S, R. 7E of Wayne County, IL. He was a farmer and some say a logger/lumberjack.
John Clevenger died in 1856 and left Elizabeth Clevenger to raise their 14 children alone. The oldest child being William Andrew Clevenger, who would have been around 18.
John Clevenger is buried next to his wife Elizabeth in the Peach Tree Cemetery aka The Cross Cemetery.